With increased internet access and penetration, people spend considerable time surfing and browsing search engines and social media. It would be devastatingly foolish for brands and companies to operate out of oblivion. More so, online presence and prevalence are paramount and deemed mandatory. The reason is that online presence informs prospects about the business and brand activities.
The chaos of the internet produces voluminous content daily. And to reach out to the target audience requires companies to achieve their objectives through digital tools and technologies; this is the primary premise of a digital marketing agency.
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What is digital marketing, and why do you need it?
At the outset, digital marketing entails using online tools and technologies for accomplishing marketing objectives. The numero uno rule of digital marketing is that the right product should reach the intended customer at the correct time.
The only addition is that it needs to be through the right platform. The reason is that the target audience is scattered across online platforms, be it social media sites, search engines, and others. So to break the bulwark, your business and brand should be spread as well. And how do you achieve this? One way of doing so is to instrument an omnichannel marketing strategy.
Omnichannel or dynamic marketing strategy is where the brand creates a seamless experience through easy accessibility by rendering sought-after functionality across all touchpoints. That is, the brand presence is profound and appears in front of your intended audience, no matter the channel used. However, omnichannel is not the same as multichannel.
Another pertinent question, especially if you are a startup, is to ask who your target audience is. So before jumping on the omnichannel marketing bandwagon, you should build a brand-specific (for multi-brand companies) buyer persona. The buyer persona comprises two aspects:
Quantitative Factors – These include age, location, income levels, and job title (applicable for B2B clients).
Qualitative Factors – These assert the psychographic aspects of goals, challenges, hobbies and interests, and priorities.
Clearing the air between Omnichannel and Multichannel
Although used interchangeably, there is a stark difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing. The latter posits having a unified message and format across platforms. Each platform is unique, and so are its users. What works for one may not necessarily work for others. Hence, omnichannel marketing strategies come to the rescue by solving this predicament and saving you from digital mishaps.
The primary consideration that differentiates both these methods is relevance. As mentioned above, the right message should reach the intended audience at the correct time and on the right platform. That is, omnichannel strategy renders personalisation.
Now that you are familiar with the basics, the next step is planning and strategy. One way to get the planning and strategy right is to adopt the RACE framework. The framework is in the next section.
RACE Framework to the Finish
RACE is an acronym that stands for Reach, Act, Convert and Engage. What does each entail?
Reach – The first step involves spreading awareness about your business and brand activities using online and offline media. Offline media comprises billboards, hoardings and print media that make for a supplementary medium for the online platforms.
Act – Once sufficient awareness is spread, the next step is to act on it. And how do you do this? By creating engaging content on the website and other online channels that resonate with your target audience. The step is the first stage of engagement with prospects.
Convert – Only if the content is engaging enough will the audience contemplate purchasing your products or subscribing to your services. When this happens, your social currency gets amped up through followers and fans, which help increase the sales and the brand’s bottom line.
Engage – This involves adopting a long-term approach to entice and retain prospects by building relationships with fans and followers.
There are many ways of pursuing the RACE framework, and there are varied digital technologies available at the disposal of brands and businesses. These are the brand website itself, mobile engagement through applications, social media accounts and pages, search engine optimisation (SEO), paid advertising such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, email advertising, digital partnerships with other agencies, and even link-building.
Furthermore, to make the RACE framework impactful and effective, it must be aligned to SMART objectives. SMART is an acronym used for evaluating marketing objectives. It stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-Oriented and Timebound.
Measuring the performance of your RACE campaign
Given the dynamic and ever-changing business environment, having static plans is insufficient and can cost you lost time and effort. So, brands must continuously revisit the RACE framework and assess the effectiveness and the Return on Investment (ROI). Many analytical tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Sprout Social help in this endeavor.
People today spend considerable amounts of time surfing and browsing the internet. The primary contributing factor is the varied search engines and social media platforms. If businesses and brands are to ensure that the right product reaches the intended audience at the right time and on the right site, they need to have a dynamic presence. One way is by adopting an omnichannel strategy.
Omnichannel strategies account for the peculiarities of social media sites, search engines, and their users. It thrives on customer-oriented marketing through relevance. However, getting this right requires a detailed plan and strategy. Among the many methods, the RACE framework makes for an ideal contender. Furthermore, to garner impactful results, it should be aligned with SMART objectives. Finally, it should be measured to evaluate the effectiveness and gauge the ROI. Several tools such as Facebook Insights, Google Analytics and Sprouts Social come to the rescue.